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We combine field, petrological, geochemical and experimental observations to evaluate the timescales of compaction-driven and shear-assisted melt extraction and ascent in the Himalaya. The results show that melt migration via compaction and channelling is inescapable and operates on timescales of less than 1 million years and possibly as short as 0.1 million years. Field and petrological data show that such a fast and efficient melt transfer results from a combination of favourable factors, including: (1) low but constant melt viscosity (104.5 Pa s) during extraction and ascent; (2) grain size coarsening of the source rocks in response to...

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